Body of Art

    Getting a tattoo is serious business. Once you’re inked nothing (except really painful, expensive lasers) can get the ink out. Sarah Gray, a Chicago-based tattoo artist, tells you what you should expect…and what is just plain wrong about getting some sick body art.

    Choosing a tattoo

    The Good

    • Let the artist run with your general idea.

    • Bigger tattoos can be custom fit to your body.
    • Pick something that means something to you.

        The Bad

        • NEVER get names. Memorial tattoos are better.

        • Don’t just walk in and point at something on the wall.

        Before you ink

        • Make sure the artist’s station is clean.

        • Watch the artist open all needles and tubes of color. If everything is set up already, ask them to open all new equipment.
        • Look at the artist’s portfolio, and ask about their apprenticeship.

            Gettin’ the tat

            • Don’t choose a location based on how much it will hurt–it all hurts.

            • Make sure you’ve eaten. Tattooing is a long process, and if your blood sugar drops, you could pass out.
            • The less breaks you take, the better. You body builds up endorphins that help with the pain, and if you stop, your body will figure out that the process hurts.
            • Breathe


                • Use A&D Ointment (or unscented lotion), but just a thin coat…let it breathe.

                • It’s fine to shower, but don’t submerge the tattoo until it’s healed.
                • It usually takes 10-14 days to heal.
                • Use sunscreen on it forever.


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